This Is Why

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Autumn lake – PC KJ Roe

Dear Friends and Family who have been subjected to the mess that is my car,

This is why. Why there is always a stash of life vests, and paddles, and extra clothes, and fishing gear, or winter gear, and snow shoes, and extra gloves, and sleeping bags. Why there’s always a book bag of notebooks, pens, pencils, and books.

Because, after a stressful day at work, I can be here. Here, floating between earth and sky, skimming along the tops of reflected clouds, nature’s quiet voice a balm to my mind. Here, separated briefly from daily cares, surrounded by reminders of the quietness of creation. Here, where the immensity of this beauty puts perspective to the smallness of my problems.

This is why, when you see me post pictures or hear me talk about my weekend, you rarely hear about me cleaning and doing chores. They happen (perhaps a bit less often than they “should”), but they are not priority.

You see, I’ve lost enough to know better. I’ve lost enough people in my life to know you don’t take loved ones for granted. You don’t miss an opportunity to say I love you or to give a kiss or a hug.

I’ve seen enough ugliness and hatefulness to appreciate every bit of beauty I can find.

And I’ve lived through just enough heartache to know that you must seek peace, and hold it when you find it.

None of it is guaranteed. Life is time-limited. Relationships, experiences, and adventures are limited by that time. So, given a sunny day, a good snowfall, a few moments with someone I care about, I hope I always choose to live in the moment. I hope I choose beauty.

I hope I live up to life.

-KJ Roe

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Finite

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This.

Conversing with the person across the table, laughing, smiling. Sharing these moments that I know are all too fleeting. Feeling the joy glowing inside each breath, the happiness of enjoying this gift of time. Hoping that it lasts, hoping that there are thousands more days like this, and wishing there was no end to our shared companionship.

But I know time is finite. I know you are growing and changing, moving towards the path you will take. These sparkling moments are too few for me, as you stretch impatiently towards adulthood and independence. I watch the glow in your eyes, the curve of your smile, and see all at once the baby you were and the hint of the woman you will become. I hold it close inside, storing up the memories for when you join your siblings out in the world. I cherish the times you let me into your world, chattering away about friends and art and videos and games I only partially understand.

This life is too short for me. Too soon, you will be on your own, making your way with your own special style, and I will be relegated to cheering section and occasional life consultant. You will be taking your own path, full of the adventure and creativity that fills your soul.

I know time has a limit, like this earth we stand on. I know the excitement of seeing you “become” is lined with bittersweet. But my hopes and my love for you are as unlimited as the universe. And I know that, like the stars, you will shine.

-KJ Roe

Le Cafe

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All alone
As she sits in the corner
Steam rising from a cup
Like the
Conversations swirling through the air,
Weaving around and past
Invisible fences,
Marking the spaces
That don’t fit
And the holes unfilled.
Music lifts with gentle caress,
Notes of friendship
And melodies of memories
Soothing storms hidden;
Invisible worlds and tidepool dreams,
Reveries of ethereal visions
Ephemeral shadows behind her eyes,
Like the
Steam rising from a cup
As she sits in the corner
All alone.

-KJ Roe